personal essay: the unnerving texture of transition.

By Alison Rice

I speak a lot about seasons in my role as a career mentor. The belief that the present moment is the only thing that actually exists, and it’s the accumulation of many, many present moments that sees the overall storyline of our life swell into seasons.

One of the throughways to professional peace — the exhale — is acknowledging and embracing the relevance of the season we’re in while also holding in our awareness that the very nature of seasons is that they change. Change is always coming.

We aren’t surprised when the leaves begin to fall off the trees in Autumn. We don’t question why it’s Winter. It just is. We accept the seasonal rhythm Nature has set in place for our experience and yet, we tend to resist using it as a blueprint to living a full and expressed life.

No season was or ever will be designed to be lived in and through forever. Sure, we can stay in a season beyond its expiration date, but what we’ll bump into in that sameness is a dimming of our light. What was once a roaring flame — a sense of purpose and zest for life — will feel more like an ember we keep stoking with things like haircuts and holidays in the hope one of them will bring back that fire that once burned within us.

Of course, the end comes eventually because change is all that’s ever happening. Only now, we’re no longer in control of the terms, pace or shape of the change (we never were). Nature, lovingly and with our evolution in mind, directs a relevant amount of destructive energy into our existence and all of a sudden we feel as though we’re being ripped from the perceived safety of one season and into the scary unknown of the next.

It’s really helped me to remember that destruction is a byproduct of maintenance. Given change is all that’s ever happening, for those whose basic needs are met or for those who are inherently safe in the world, change can be chosen instead of resisted. We can willingly move in the direction of different instead of spending our time and energy working hard to keep things the same.

I often get asked how to know it’s time to travel in a different direction. How to know it’s the “right time” to be an agent of change in your life. And my answer to that is really simple: The fact you’re thinking about it means it’s time. 

I think we expect our intuition, which is Nature’s creative impulse moving through us, to be clear and precise. I think in all of this beautiful body work we’ve been doing, we’ve come to believe that it should be a firm yes or a firm no. But my experience sitting on the edge of the jar of a brand-new season, dangling my legs inside and cultivating the courage to jump in, is that it feels quite vague in the body. Some days it’s really there, undeniable. Other days it’s quite distant, to the point where I think “phew, I’m so glad I didn’t have that conversation or send that email”.

But then it rises up once again. Time to move. Time to deepen and enrich the storyline of your life. Time to do the thing no one around you is doing and be OK with them not understanding it. Again.

And that’s what I wanted to write about today: The almost underwhelming but at the same time unnerving texture of transition. The vacant feeling that cloaks us when we’re in the space between two seasons. We know where we are is no longer relevant, but we haven't yet made full contact with what’s next. With what is relevant for us.

So, what’s here for us. . . Why the extended layover between destinations? Well, I believe it's the entire reason our sweet souls drop into these bodies: To master the art of listening and responding.

Nature is trying to have a unique experience of itself through us and in order to do that, it needs us to realise that we are it. This space, these valleys full of introspection, deep thinking and big questions, they are an entry point back to source. An opportunity to plug back into the divine and understand what it is hoping to experience through us.

Just when you think you’ve surrendered, surrender again. The “right way” only becomes known when we get out of the way. Transitioning from one season to another is an allowing.

self reflection prompts.

  • What would I need to stop doing in order to allow the next season of my life to unfold?
  • What am I no longer willing to do, give or sacrifice? 
  • What was right for me then but no longer feels right for me now?